- Roger Wilson signed the exit deal for Jeanette Parkinson in 2012
- A review of the deal found the senior midwife had been “significantly overpaid”
- Mr Wilson denies any “impropriety” and CQC panel will now consider the case
An NHS director who agreed an “irregular” exit payment for a senior midwife at the centre of the Morecambe Bay care scandal will be assessed as to whether he is a fit and proper person to be on an NHS board.
Roger Wilson, director of human resources and organisational development at Warrington and Halton Hospitals Foundation Trust, is being reviewed over his actions while he held the same post at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay FT in 2012.
He has been referred to the Care Quality Commission under the fit and proper person test by a third party after a meeting between the regulator and WHH chief executive Mel Pickup last week, a trust spokeswoman confirmed.
When Mr Wilson joined the trust he was deemed to be fit and proper by the trust chair under the regulation brought in after the 2013 Francis inquiry. The trust is awaiting the decision of the CQC and a trust spokeswoman confirmed Mr Wilson was still at work.
In 2012, Mr Wilson signed an exit deal for Jeannette Parkinson, then a maternity risk manager at UHMB, which allowed her to leave the trust without an investigation into her performance following the avoidable deaths of at least 11 babies and one mother at Furness General Hospital.
Sir David Henshaw, who was chair at UHMB at the time, said he was unaware of the agreement.
An internal review into the deal by the Morecambe Bay trust earlier this year found it had not gone through a formal governance process and Ms Parkinson was “significantly overpaid (by as much as 14 months)” under the redundancy agreement.
Ms Parkinson, who was criticised last year by the Kirkup inquiry, was given an assurance that she would not be investigated, in exchange for taking the deal.
Mr Wilson said last month: “I would like to record that I strongly refute any allegation of impropriety on my part while employed at UHMB or at any other role that I have held in either public or private sectors.”
His case will be considered by the CQC’s fit and proper person panel at its next meeting, the trust spokeswoman said. It will determine whether the regulator is assured that the trust followed correct processes and Mr Wilson is a fit and proper director.
If the panel has any concerns it could require the trust to take further action. Under its enforcement process the CQC can issue a warning notice to the trust and eventually apply a condition to the trust’s registration requiring a director’s removal.
A CQC spokesman said: “We have received a referral under the fit and proper persons requirement and we are currently considering the information, but we are unable to disclose further details until we have come to a view about the case.”
The CQC has been criticised for how it has implemented the fit and proper person test, which came into force in November 2014.
Information obtained by HSJ